Ransomware soars in 2016, while malware declines


A global cyberthreat report released Tuesday found that 2016 was a mixed bag: malware was down slightly, but ransomware attacks soared, up 167 times the number recorded in 2015.

In addition to that huge increase in ransomware, 2016 saw a new line of cybercrime from a large-scale DDoS attack through internet of things devices. The principal case occurred in October when the , such as internet-ready cameras, resulting in a DDoS attack on Dyn servers.

The 2016 report, by cybersecurity company SonicWall, looked at data from daily network feeds sent from more than 1 million sensors in nearly 200 countries.

During all of 2016, SonicWall found that unique samples of malware fell to 60 million samples, down from 64 million in 2015, a 6.25 percent decrease. Total malware attempts also fell to 7.87 billion from 8.19 billion, a 4 percent decrease.

, which was deployed in more than 500 million total attacks throughout the year. No industry was spared: the mechanical and industrial engineering industry got 15 percent of the ransomware hits, while pharmaceuticals and financial services companies each got 13 percent, while real estate companies got 12 percent.

more than 42 percent since late 2015, given the shift of attackers to online, according to some security experts.

SonicWall’s full threat report can be found on its .

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